Title: Where To, Sir?
Summary: Foyle and Sam didn't really hit it off on Day One…or did they?
Genre: (Im)pure, (almost) unadulterated Foyle-fluff.
Authors' Note: We had such fun writing this story. And we even got to write the Epilogue while actually in the same room! Enjoy! (Incidentally, one half of nocturnefaure was reading the first draft of this to the other half, who happened to be driving at the time. Ten minutes later, we realised we'd taken the wrong exit on the motorway.)
Epilogue ~ September, 1945
"May I cut in?" Christopher Foyle placed a hand on his father-in-law's arm.
Reverend Stewart had just danced Samantha closer to the edge of the room, where Foyle stood smiling quietly at the happy scene all around him. This official wedding 'do' had been a celebration not only of his marriage to Sam five years before, but also of the end of the war, the safe return of Andrew, the success of the newly sworn-in Inspector Milner (a proud new father), and the joyous gathering of so many people Christopher and Samantha Foyle held dear.
With a fond smile, Iain Stewart handed Samantha over to his son-in-law. It had taken no small adjustment, that July day in 1940 when his only child had come home to visit with an elegant older gentleman in tow, and revealed in a cascade of nervous equivocation that he was her newly acquired husband.
Had the circumstances been different, Sam might have let a little more time elapse before revealing this news to a thunderstruck Mr and Mrs Stewart, but as she well knew, there would soon be evidence of their wedded bliss impossible to hide: the two-months-married Sam was two months pregnant.
Now the mischievous four-and-a-half-year-old result ran shrieking across the lawn next to the church hall, dashing gleefully away from his two half-brothers—one discharged from the dangerous duty of RAF missions, the other newly freed from an unjust imprisonment and near-execution.
Seated at a gaily decorated table overlooking the dance, Mrs Stewart had been conversing for an hour with Sam's erstwhile landlady, Mrs Merivale. The two had uncovered a mutual interest in rose-growing, debating the best methods of caterpillar extermination and avoidance of black spot. Now they paused, swept away by Christopher's tender expression as he danced Samantha past them, and Meri took a chance on Sam's mother ("Oh, do call me Emily!") being ready for a certain question that was tugging at her curiosity.
Fixing soft green eyes upon her new friend, she asked, "Emily. Were you surprised when you found out how quickly Samantha and Christopher fell in love?"
Mrs Stewart nodded, before allowing herself a comical roll of her eyes.
"Not that I knew just how quickly, until recently. Samantha introduced us exactly ten weeks after she went to work for him, and when she did, they already were married…"
She took a fortifying sip of sherry and resumed, leaning in to her companion.
"Without lying outright, they let us believe that they were visiting to announce something that had taken place that day. Now, of course, we know why—" she added in a conspiratorial hush, but not without good humour. "Peter was already on the way. Sam's scheme was to get us used to the idea of a rapid courtship and marriage before we sorted out just how early that, um, courtship had got underway."
Meri's burst of melodious laughter was so sudden that Paul and Edith Milner, sitting nearby with the Reids, raised their heads and smiled.
"I can tell you," she assured Emily, "that they married even before they knew that Sam was—"
"Mmm. Yes, she did finally confess her wedding date to me. She knew perfectly well that if we'd learned all this on their actual day, within hours Iain would have been sweeping into Hastings to gather his lost lamb back into the fold. What I'll never tell him is how early Peter could have been conceived! Sam only told me that about two weeks ago. We've just let Iain believe he was a wedding night baby."
"Suppose it goes to show," Merivale said with a quiet beam, "how quickly two people who are meant for each other can fall in love."
Emily's face was at once humorously resigned and filled with fondness as she turned her eyes to her daughter and son-in-law once again. "Samantha probably handled it all in exactly the right way. I would have been appalled and suspicious of him, if I'd realised she already knew she was expecting the week before their visit. As it is… well, I can honestly say that I've never seen a more compatible pair.
"Mind you," Emily took another tongue-loosening sip of Bristol Cream, "Iain had struggles of his own, curbing himself while we were courting. Have my suspicions that, had I been braver and given him the slightest encouragement, his resolve would've crumbled!"
Just then a blond-haired little boy with freckles came hurtling toward the women, giggling insanely with half-terrified delight at being chased-after by two dark-haired young men, one dashingly wielding a wooden sword.
"Here, sshhhh, Peter! Quiet, Darling… Mr and Mrs Milner just managed to get the baby off to sleep!"
Edie smiled from the next table, where she sat between her husband and Elaine Reid, who was cradling tiny Clementine Milner in her arms. "Oh, I wouldn't worry too much, Mrs Stewart. Clemmie seems to sleep through anything at this stage." She exchanged a loving look with her husband. Only the night before, Paul had frozen in his tracks, having dropped the saucepan he'd just dried, and squeezed shut his eyes in painful anticipation of the baby's cry of protest at the clatter; but when the new parents craned their necks over the edge of the high-sided cot, Clementine had been slumbering angelically.
"Just the same, old man, good idea to be quiet around babies as a rule," advised Andrew Foyle, kneeling beside his small brother with a stroke of his arm.
"Why, Andrew?" asked the child, unruly blonde curls framing his now-serious young features.
"Because they need their sleep, Pete." This time, his answer came from Jack Devereaux, who, with a theatrical flourish, now made motion to knight the young man by tapping his shoulder with the sword's flat.
Peter's dark-chocolate eyes considered this gravely, darting from one equally deep brown pair to the next. He idolised his newfound elder brothers—newfound, as his parents had explained to him, because the war had whisked them away from home to do heroic deeds—and Peter was consequently still listening solemnly to most of their advice, his behaviour steadily improving for a few weeks now.
All of this exchange was witnessed, over his wife's shoulder, by Christopher Foyle, his eyes growing distant with the memory of Mrs Ramsey's tales about Jack's childhood, and the boy's Harkaway-style adventures with his ill-fated mother, Caroline.
He was reeled in from the sad reverie when Sam whispered seductively in his ear, "Do you still count every time we… you know?"
Nuzzling her nose, he murmured back, "One thousand, six hundred and forty two.
"And only two babies out of all that, Sam," he added, arching a knowing eyebrow.
"Mmm. Well, I did get cleverer with that awful cap thing…"
She giggled at his winced reaction to her mention of the Vimule cap—his expression a duplicate of the grimace he'd made that first day as he was climbing out of the car, when she'd dared to quiz him about the case he was working on. After a shaky start, what a wonderful, life-transforming day that had turned out to be!
"But I never really made proper friends with it," she added, with a grin.
His face melted into a pensive smile. "No, my love, you didn't, did you?"
A few yards distant from his parents, young Peter turned a shy face into Andrew's trouser leg as a rather spectacular redhead approached his brother and kissed him on the cheek.
"Andrew, your Uncle Charles was just wondering whether you'd come and regale him and Mrs Howard with tales of your exploits."
Andrew rolled his eyes, and the line of his mouth was sardonic. "The ones they haven't heard about mainly involve pen-pushing and filing cabinets." Looking straight into his girl's sparkling green eyes, though, he softened. "Course I'm awfully glad of that, Betty, given I met you there."
He was rewarded by another lingering kiss to the cheek.
"Properly married only days after they met," mused Betty, peering around Andrew as they took a seat beside Paul and Edie and poured some lemonade for themselves. She turned to their companions at the table. "Did you know, Mr Milner? Mr Reid?"
Paul smiled. "Well, I had my suspicions from the first moment I saw them together. There was something... natural about them. Seriously compatible, not just some fling. But I'd only just met him, you see. Not to mention that he was my boss." He smiled broadly at their companions at the table. "Mr Reid, I now know, coaxed it out of Mr Foyle right away."
Hugh snorted, "Well he certainly wasn't his own boss from the moment Samantha arrived. They'd hoped to keep things under wraps at least through the summer. But if anything was ever an 'open secret', that was it. The constables only had to catch him going crinkly-eyed at Sam once that first week, and that was already enough to tell them that the two were besotted. Still," he raised earnest eyebrows, "I must say they were professional in their public behaviour. Except for the occasional rather lengthy lunch break," he smirked.
Whereupon Edie blushed, though her smile was knowing. She and Paul had fallen prey to a few of those, themselves.
Hugh went on, "I told Christopher the next weekend as we fished, that the game was up, and he'd better put out the word that they were married"—he grinned—"for the sake of the new Mrs Foyle's reputation.
"A fortnight on, and all of Hastings knew." He chuckled. "So much for the 'loose lips sink ships' discipline. And two months later, Sam had no choice but to tell her parents."
Whether their ears were burning, it was hard to say, but by this time the pair in question had resumed their seats, and in moments the ball of energy that was their offspring had rushed at his father's knees and been lifted into his lap.
"What would you say," Foyle asked (eyes on Peter's, though all of his sons were now seated around him), "to becoming a big brother?"
"Truly?" Jack was the first to exclaim. "Oh, Sam, congratulations."
Reverend and Mrs Stewart, Andrew, and Betty rose to give the young woman an enthusiastic hug, as the Milners, Reids, and Meri looked on with smiles. To Guy Grindley, who also shared the table, the news was no surprise. He merely raised his glass and winked at Sam.
Peter was still examining his father's clear blue eyes and gauging, as he'd recently learned to do, how serious he was, by said eyes' twinkle and the arc of an eyebrow.
"I'm going to be a big brother?" he asked eagerly.
Samantha nodded, flashing a smile at the others. "How should you like it if you turned out to have a sister?"
Peter considered this carefully. "I could protect her! With my sword!" he declared, looking about for it, as Jack had slid the wooden blade beneath his chair.
"Here you are then, Peter the Brave." Devereaux retrieved the toy and placed it in his young brother's eager hand.
"Careful round your mother with that thing," warned Foyle, patiently curbing his young son's enthusiastic thrusts and parries.
"You really think you're qualified to give advice?" whispered Sam into her husband's ear.
Six months later, Sam allowed the earnest littlest older brother to have a try at holding his baby sister in his arms. He sat very straight upon the settee, cradling the tiny bare head as he'd been instructed.
"I've got you, Laura," he said with his best big-brother authority. Beside him sat Christopher, who let his finger be clutched by one surprisingly strong miniscule hand.
"Glad you'll help us look after her, Pete. What d'ya think; shall we teach her to fish?"
"To fish and to run, and I can read to her, as well!"
"Bedtime!" chimed Sam as she came back through with a burping towel upon her shoulder.
With Peter tucked in, and Laura covered in her cot, their parents lay in dreamy repose. Sam laid her ear close to the steady, comforting beat of her husband's heart as he held her loosely in his embrace.
"You're a lovely mother to them, Sam," Christopher murmured tenderly, then smiled to feel her grin through the thin fabric of his pyjama shirt.
"Hmm. They are good little troupers. Well... I mean, we'll see, with Laura, but at least she's not croup-y. And Pete is sometimes boisterous, but what little boy isn't, really? What about you, Christopher? Were you running about making noise when you were small?"
"My mother always said I was a quiet lad, but I doubt that was the case every moment."
"Mmm." Sam stretched her pleasantly tired legs. "Well, at any rate, I haven't minded being a mother a bit." She furrowed her brow, suddenly recalling Peter's attempt to bake an old rubber ball from Andrew's closet in the cooker alongside a fish dinner. "Well, hardly, anyway."
Foyle stroked her hair thoughtfully. "I, um..."
He paused, prompting his wife to look up at him. His lip-chewing led her to sit up beside him, plumping her pillow behind her.
"All right. What's on your mind, Husband?"
He smiled faintly. She could read his every smallest inflection—which was helpful, when one wasn't sure how to get started. But now, how to find the words?
"Erm, well, I... was talking with Guy... and he assures me that a vasectomy is an extremely simple matter, darling. I know we talked about this a little as you began to use your cap, but..."
Sam felt the most curious sense of disappointment. Did he not want to have any more? Fearing he'd be too old when they were still children, perhaps? Or was it all for her that he was willing to consider the procedure? Knowing Christopher, that was altogether possible.
Sam spoke carefully.
"Would you rather not have any more children, my love? Or are you just offering this out of concern for me?"
He didn't quite turn his head, but tilted his chin, his eyes sliding sideways to check her expression. She kept it neutral and calm.
He shrugged. "Wull, I'm not absolutely sure, but I worry about you. Will you have the chance to do other things you'd like to do?"
Sam scrunched her mouth and thought. "I enjoy being a mother, so far," she said. "Not sure I'd worked out any particular career ambition before I met you. Liked helping you with police work, but in a modest way I still do that."
Christopher nodded, then reminded her, with a wry smile, "Sseem to recall—when I threw out your cervical cap that first time when it hurt you—you were a bit appalled at the idea of a brood."
"True," Sam admitted, recalling her words that night: 'Twins run in my family'. If her next pregnancy brought twins, she reflected, there would be four children under the age of ten.
Her mind returned to her captaincy of the wee salvage-collectors—the ones who'd led them to the revelatory letter proving Sir Reginald Walker's cynical agreement to do business with the Nazis. Shepherding that lot hadn't been difficult; it had been fun.
She laughed softly. "Well, you know, Dear, all I can say is that some part of me grew sad when you offered. I don't like the thought of it. Let's... wait."
He nodded, and the beautiful warmth that darkened his eyes, surrounding them with a sunburst of tiny wrinkles, told her that he didn't mind her request at all.
He kissed her temple, drawing her back into his embrace, and bringing forth her sweet sigh of contentment—one of his favourite sounds. As he turned her and laid her down to trail his lips from her ear to her neck, the sigh became a soft hum. She caressed his neck and hair, massaged his shoulders and suddenly felt the passionate pressure of his lips as they took hers, at the same time as his hands clasped hers above her head.
"Sam..." He spoke in a husky voice that made her tremble with a thrill. "Considering, um, what we've just talked about, is it fair to assume you don't need to get ready for me?"
Samantha's eyes sparkled with a mischief that reminded him of their first walk together, when she'd teased him about his chivalry.
"No barrier necessary," she whispered, wriggling beneath him. Then she lowered her voice and added, "Besides, I'm always ready for you."
His answer to that was another hungry kiss, delivered so fast and on-target that she had to suppress a chuckle. The interplay of their tongues and his own appreciative noises were making her slippery and aching. In short order, she was gasping, "Please! Oh, now!" with as much eagerness as she had that first magical day.
Foyle needed no further encouragement. Locking eyes with the gorgeous being beneath him, he moved their clothes aside and, aligning himself, sank firmly into the soft velvet of her, closing his lids in bliss—not simply because a beautiful young woman was bringing him sublime pleasure, but because this was his devoted wife, the loving mother of his youngest children, and a reminder every single day (as were all his children) of how fortunate he had been in life, many times over.
Invigorated by the rising image of fertility, he clamped Sam's wrists more tightly, pinning them un-gently to the mattress next to her ears, and built his pace till he was pistoning into her, stifling her mewls of pleasure with his lips on hers.
Pulling back for breath after a string of powerful thrusts, he surged inside Samantha with a growl, and she cried out in helpless frenzy; at that instant, another startled cry—this one of alarm—joined theirs, and they both froze mid-ecstasy, their moment shattered. Only a glimpse of blue-fleece foot hastily departing the now-open bedroom door, and frightened little sobs, gave them a clue as to what had happened.
Christopher slumped onto his back with a groan, bringing a hand down over his face, and Sam leapt to her feet.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Darling, but he—"
"No. How could he understand. I'll come with you."
They donned their dressing gowns, securely tied, and made their way across the landing to what had once been Andrew's room, but now was Peter's.
Pushing open the partly-ajar door, adorned with coloured-in paper Spitfires, they crept into their young son's room. He was weeping still, nearly as forlornly as he had as a toddler, and Sam was quick to sit on the bed and scoop him up.
Peter clung to her with great relief. It was at his father, however, that he aimed a look of abject fear.
"Shh!" Sam soothed him, carding her fingers through the silky curls, a longer, bouncier and more flaxen version of Christopher's. "It's all right, Peter. Nothing bad was happening at all."
"But Daddy was... was hurting you!"
A fresh wave of tears ensued, wetting the shoulder panel of Sam's robe.
Sam couldn't help a little laugh. She reached out her hand to Christopher, and he gently grasped it, his look of helplessness making him seem almost as little-boyish as his five-year-old at that moment.
"Hush, now, Peter. Please don't cry, my darling. Daddy was hugging me tight because he loves me. Did you think I was calling out because it hurt? I wasn't, Sweetheart. Grownups show they love each other in stronger ways than children do—they get more carried away. See? Look..." and she tugged Christopher's hand so that he sat close beside her.
"I'd never hurt Mummy, Peter." He raised Sam's hand to his lips and softly kissed it. "I'd die before I would, in fact."
Nestled in Sam's lap, Peter gazed at them with eyes still showing a trace of distrust, but Sam placed his legs on Christopher's knees. Foyle traced a finger straight up the sole of one woolly foot, eliciting an involuntary giggle from the most ticklish member of the family.
Sam smooched her husband's cheek, and then her son's. "Sometimes, your father just sweeps me away, like this," she told Peter, her eyes very wide.
Christopher dutifully kissed her cheek, and Sam gave a noisy, swoony exclamation.
"But he... he wrestled you..."
"We were hugging and having a fun wrestle. No hurting."
Foyle gently squeezed one small foot and then the other, and said solemnly, "But we are sorry that we frightened you, Petey."
Sam nodded vigorous agreement, but further exaggeration was scarcely needed, as the vastly relieved Peter was now showing signs of sleepiness.
His glass of water procured, the little fellow was re-tucked up. After a quick check of his sister, who'd been oblivious to all of this, asleep in her cot, Foyle and Sam returned to their rumpled bed and resumed their earlier beginning pose, her head on his chest, his arms wrapped around her.
He arched an eyebrow. "Sure you want to breed any more potential interruptions?"
And Sam laughed.
Less vocally, they worked up again to where they'd left off, letting the hush of muted passion intensify the gentler lustful aspects of their lovemaking. They made a tender game of muffling their cries, Christopher sliding the hand that caressed Sam's cheek across her lips, as she gave voice to her rising excitement. When finally he sobbed his climax through lips melded to Sam's neck, it was with a rapturous sigh instead of a cry that she greeted the soft rush of his seed within her. And Samantha shuddered joyfully around him, as a father of four, as it happened, made it six.